[ga] Re: gTLD Constituency Memo
Thank you for forwarding the questions posed by the gTLD constituency Task
Force (on the ccSO formation) to the General Assembly for its review and
consideration. We appreciate the courtesy and look forward to ongoing
Let me continue the discussion with a parable: A homeowners association
decides to create a luxury apartment building... They engage an architectural
firm which hires a number of contractors to get the job done and which pays
them as required. One day, some of the contractors (who handle a sizable
amount of work) decide that (for various reasons) they will withdraw from the
Builders' Association (which hasn't been sufficiently responsive to their
needs) and will form their own Union in order to better engage in collective
bargaining. They then demand seats on the Architectural Firm's Board (the
unspoken challenge being that if their demands are not met, they will no
longer work on this Apartment Building). Under normal circumstances, the
Architect would first consult with his firm, and then report the labor
difficulties to the Homeowner's Association. But in this particular case,
the Staff of the Architectural Firm is implicated in the problem (as revealed
by a press release from the new Union: "Members have previously noted the
call from the Staff that we should form a peer organisation").
How should the Homeowners Association deal with the Architectural Firm if it
can no longer technically coordinate the project? How should the
Architectural Firm deal with its meddling staff? Should Union demands be
met, or should the Firm act to bust the Union? What happens to all the
other smaller and larger contractors that have faithfully lived up to their
end of the contract -- will there be equitable treatment for all?
Here's another way of looking at the problem...
an analogy..., consider the possibility that one-eighth of the members of the
gTLD constituency (let's say the NSI Registry, by way of example) voted to
withdraw from the DNSO in order to form a separate SO... (this would be
comparable to the 31 out of 240+ ccTLDs having voted to withdraw).
This would leave seven-eighths of the constituency members still in the DNSO.
Given this to be the case, why should the Board (using this example)
consider granting SO status to NSI, the break-away group?
Yes, like the ccTLDs, NSI could argue (paraphrasing the language in the ccSO
Formation Statement) that 'the absence of Board representation, and the
unlikeliness of this occurring, despite the fact that com/net/org domains
constitute the vast majority of all domain names and that this member is
expected to contribute the bulk of the ICANN budget is a particular feature
of the problems of the current relationship.'
Similarly, NSI could also argue that 'the developing relationship between
members and the staff and Board of ICANN has more and more assumed the nature
of an independent Support Organisation ("SO"). NSI expects to sign individual
contracts with ICANN, and has prepared Best Practices and Contract documents
for use of the gTLD community. NSI tends to communicate directly with the
Board and staff outside of the DNSO and Names Council framework.'
Even so, are these arguments sufficient to warrant the creation of a separate
SO? If they are (in this analogy), then perhaps NSI should be entitled to
three seats on the ICANN Board. As for me, I don't find the arguments, as
currently delineated, sufficiently compelling.
I am sure that we would all appreciate an informed discussion. The
re-structuring of ICANN and/or the DNSO is a significant challenge that can
be best supported by a bottom-up community-based consensus process. Perhaps
we can begin by asking our former ccTLD representatives (an obviously
impacted party) if they could shed some light on their position...
It would also be beneficial to hear the views of the other constituencies.
The ccSO Formation Statement may be found at:
The gTLD Constituency Memo:
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